Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
The Imitation Game (2014)
"A highly entertaining, immaculately produced drama about a genius-hero whose stiff-upper-lip resolve can't block a kick in the teeth when, years after the war, he is prosecuted for the 'crime' of homosexuality."
Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)
"Director Tom Harper frames the occasional lovely creepy shot, but the grayness is so enveloping it turns many night scenes and interiors into smoky blurs; the promising wartime themes similarly lose focus."
The Gambler (2014)
"Chockablock with interesting performances (Jessica Lange is the professor's wealthy mother, John Goodman is a Jabba-like loan shark) and silly self-indulgences (slow-motion pole-dancers gyrate to Dinah Washington's recording of 'This Bitter Earth')."
Inherent Vice (2015)
The Interview (2014)
"The movie more or less vaporizes the Supreme Leader in graphic slow motion... This is the special-effects shot heard 'round the world, judging by its reverberations in the arenas of entertainment, politics and the news media. "
Into the Woods (2014)
Big Eyes (2014)
"One song is performed by Annie and Stacks while they are strapped into seats in a helicopter, not a promising scenario for those who remember when even the most routine movie musicals were vehicles for choreography, athleticism and physical expression."
Flaming Star (1960)
Very Extremely Dangerous (2012)
"This harrowing documentary might be described as 'Grey Gardens' on the highway to hell -- it's a portrait of an ornery rockabilly old-timer-on-the-edge that is as funny as it is frightening and as compassionate as it is shocking."
"Scream Factory has issued 'Vault' uncut in America for the first time, on Blu-ray; the transfer restores several gruesome visual punch lines, including one involving Glynis Johns, gap-toothed Terry Thomas, and a hammer."
Tales From the Crypt (1972)
"The first killer Claus may be the 'homicidal maniac' in a Santa suit who menaces Christmas Eve murderess Joan Collins in this British anthology horror movie inspired by the EC horror comics of the 1950s."
Happy Christmas (2014)
White Christmas (1954)
The Babadook (2014)
Dolphin Tale 2 (2014)
Jingle Bell Rocks (2014)
Remote Area Medical (2014)
The Homesman (2014)
"A thoughtful Western that suggests insanity may be as logical a form of refuge, rebellion and self-expression as any for desperate women -- now as well as then? -- condemned to emotional isolation, unpaid hard labor and sexual servitude by loutish men."
"In transforming Katniss from victim/champion to icon and expanding the stakes from personal survival to political revolution, this third film sacrifices some of the metaphorical power of its teen-centric predecessors..."
"Wirkola finds room for at least one good sight gag (a zombie commandant becomes frustrated when he is unable to return a 'Sieg heil!' salute due to his chopped-off right arm) before he succumbs to the hee-haw bloodbath of the battle royale finale."
Who Took Johnny (2013)
"Like the team's earlier 'Horns and Halos,' which involved the George W. Bush presidency, this documentary suggests that the conventional world that most of us operate within is a phony if comforting illusion that hides a realm of privilege and horror. "
Time Lapse (2015)
Evolution Of A Criminal (2014)
Art and Craft (2014)
"Operating out of a crummy lifelong bachelor's apartment, this prolific art forger is an unassuming and even sympathetic mastermind. With his tall, thin frame and baldish head, he resembles an El Greco Eisenhower, accessorized with Alfred E. Neuman ears. "
Summer of Blood (2014)
Thou Wast Mild and Lovely (2014)
"Josephine Decker's dreamlike quasi-thriller of primitive psychology and goatish sexuality offers a setup that suggests 'The Postman Always Rings Twice' as filtered through Terrence Malick, but then proceeds at its own off-step pace."
Wild Canaries (2015)
"It's like a lo-fi version of 'Charade' or a hangdog hipster update of 'The Thin Man,' with the frustrated Levine as an amateur sleuth who unearths mysteries of the heart that -- unlike tidy criminal conspiracies -- resist explanation."
I Believe in Unicorns (2015)
"Leah Meyerhoff's earnest debut is more notable for the integrity of its female point of view and the consistency of its raw yet dreamy visual scheme -- which includes stop-motion fantasy interludes -- than for its familiar coming-of-age scenario. "
American Cheerleader (2014)
John Wick (2014)
"Stylized almost to abstraction (and sometimes to distraction -- such flourishes as fancifully designed subtitles diminish the intensity), this superior revenge film presents life as a series of pitiless, brutal and lethal negotiations..."
Big Hero 6 (2014)
"If the plot and colorful teen heroes are familiar, the setting -- the near-future metropolis of San Fransokyo (imagine a benign 'Blade Runner') -- is intriguing, and the animation -- as always these days -- is dazzling."
The Theory of Everything (2014)
Beyond the Lights (2014)
"Dido in 'Belle' and Noni here wouldn't seem to have a lot in common, but both roles present Mbatha-Raw as a woman searching for her authentic self within a cultural context that prefers compromised or cartoonish representations of black identity."
Finding Fela! (2014)
The Shooting (1967)
Ride in the Whirlwind (1967)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
"With its allusions to Baudelaire, Beardsley and Wilde himself, this motion 'Picture' was meant for an adult audience that could sense the youth-runs-Wilde wickedness perpetrated by the title character offscreen, in the spaces between the frames..."